Candy Train

App of the Day: Candy Train

Candy Train looks so much like a PopCap game that it's practically a parody. The title screen is filled with bright colours and shiny, boiled-sweet textures, the sound track is cartoonishly adorable with its busy chuff-chuff-chuffing and its uncommonly cheery rail whistles.

Even the icon you'll see on your iPhone looks like the kind of thing Willy Wonka might hand out to tranquilise problematic visitors before an Oompa Loompa drops them off in a back alley somewhere. It's PopCap Concentrate, PopCap Imax, and that means it's all the weirder when you actually sit down to play Candy Train, and realise it was designed and built by utter bastards.

Tellingly, the game belongs to PopCap's 4th & Battery brand - a label that was formed to release oddities like the brilliantly nasty Unpleasant Horse. Candy Train actually predates its iOS version, however. After its initial debut on the PopCap website back in 2001, it languished, too hard, too punishing for the Bejeweled crowd, until it turned up on the App Store for free in the middle of last year. I've been playing it ever since, and making practically no headway.

Read more